BBC One's The Salisbury Poisonings: everything you need to know

the salisbury poisonings

The first episode of the drama centred around the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, Wiltshire, airs tonight on BBC One.

Sergei was a Russian military officer and ex spy, who was targeted with novichok, a deadly nerve agent, causing the whole town to go into lockdown to try to prevent more contamination. 

This new BBC three-part drama explores how the town of Salisbury became the centre of a national health emergency, trying to combat a “a lethal and invisible enemy that has appeared out of nowhere”. In the era of Covid-19, the timing feels particularly apt for this BBC show.

Who is Sergei Skripal?

Sergei Skripal is a retired Russian military intelligence colonel who became world famous after he and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in Salisbury. 

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In 2006 he was sentenced to 13 years in prison, after being accused of spying for Britain. He was convicted for the crime, but then later pardoned for passing the identities of Russian secret agents in Europe to the UK's Secret Intelligence Service, MI6.

Who poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripal?

Two Russian nationals have been suspected of the Skripals’ poisoning. Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were the main suspects in the case. The men have not been arrested, and deny their involvement with the case. 

In a televised interview with Russia today in 2018, Petrov said on why they were in Salisbury, “Our friends had been suggesting for a long time that we visit this wonderful town [Salisbury].”

Boshirov added, "It's a tourist town - there's a famous cathedral there. Salisbury cathedral. It's famous for its 123-metre spire, it's famous for its clock - the first clock to be invented in the world, and it's still going."

What’s the BBC’s The Salisbury Poisonings about? 

The plot centres around the fateful incident where father and daughter were poisoned in Salisbury, and the aftermath that followed.

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were taken to hospital after they were discovered on a park bench, but doctors struggled to identify what had happened to them. A local policeman, played by Rafe Spall, becomes involved with the case, but soon becomes ill as well. 

They are taken to hospital where doctors struggle to diagnose what has happened. A policeman attempts to solve the case, but soon becomes sick too. 

You can watch The Salisbury Poisonings trailer here

When is The Salisbury Poisonings on TV?

The first series of The Salisbury Poisonings airs tonight on BBC One at 9pm.

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The Salisbury Poisonings will air across three consecutive nights on June 14, 15 and 16 on BBC One at 9pm.

Lauren Hughes

Lauren is a senior content editor covering everything from the latest royal news to fashion, beauty and health content. Lauren graduated from her masters in magazine journalism in 2011, quickly making the transition over to digital and has never looked back. From getting out a breaking news story to penning an in-depth feature, she loves the variety of writing for digital platforms.